As a culture we are beginning to become more constructive of others from civil rights, interracial marriages, gay rights, women rights, fertility rights. The word, “tolerance” was not used purposefully because as a society we need to look at situations positively rather than “tolerating” someone for who they are. Too often, infertile or dysfertile parents are offended by others for well, just being them. Somehow as a society we have “normalized” and numbed ourselves with how we treat (discrimination) infertile or dysfertile families and children born out of fertility treatments like IVF.
To be clear:
- It is NOT OK to ask someone about the fertility issues even in the best of intent. If the person feels comfortable with you, they will confide.
- It is NOT OK to say have you tried adoption instead of IVF? There are so many kids in the world who could use adoption. It shows lack of ground realities and the stringent adoption laws which may make it impossible for some folks to adopt – like single fathers, gays, intersex, age of married couple, etc. Adoption laws are based on archaic stereotypes and not the ground reality of 21st century where love of a parent counts and not their biology, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Most of us when we wake up every morning would like to solve world hunger but still there are millions who go to bed every night hungry. Why? Making ignorant statements like have you tried adoption instead of IVF is like have you solved world hunger because it does not capture the complexities and the ground realities.
- It is NOT OK to say well thats how nature made you and should remain childless. Every human has a right to life including innocent IVF children.
- It is NOT OK to have situations where innocent, voiceless IVF children are placed in legal limbo due to no fault of their own and simply due to lack of laws. Each infertility journey is unique in its own way and every infertile or dysfertile parent is very strong to have overcome with or without a child. Wanting a child is a basic human emotion – CANNOT DENY that. When an infertile or dysfertile parent is blessed with a child, they have already traveled a long journey only about to begin on another long journey of love and affection with the child.
To be clear:
- It is OFFENSIVE to separate an IVF child from a parent and saying “that’s the law”. Laws are made for our society by the people, of the people and for the people – change the laws with changing ground realities.
- It is OFFENSIVE to treat an IVF child like property or an asset to have them abandoned or given up for adoption due to a DNA mismatch or a parent abandoning the IVF pregnancy. Again, change the laws to provide relief for these exceptions.
- It is OFFENSIVE to use language like “illegitimate child born out of wedlock” when defining legal parent-child relationship between IVF child and parent. Ask any IVF parent and they will tell you, their IVF child is NOT “illegitimate”.
- It is OFFENSIVE to have your IVF child treated with NO legal identity, NO legal rights, and worse protection to their human and child rights than cats and dogs as pets.
- It is OFFENSIVE to say to an IVF parent with an IVF child in legal limbo that “you should have known better” or “you deserve it”. Does the innocent IVF child deserve it? Did the innocent IVF child know any better or asked to be born? Why take out the punishment of the parent onto an innocent child?
- It is OFFENSIVE to take this abuse and violation of basic human rights of IVF children and families and only to be silenced when asking for change in laws. It is OFFENSIVE to have continued stereotyping in treatment of IVF children and families.
Its 2013 and its a new era. If not today, one day in the future, there will be a day when IVF children will deserve basic human respect and dignity if not equal rights. This is the NEXT social justice fight of our 21st century.
Let’s NOT OFFEND, let’s GO FEND our basic human emotion for a child.